December in Singapore marks the perfect blend of festivities and celebrations.
As the year winds down, the city-state transforms into a dazzling spectacle, from the vibrant Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up to the breathtaking fireworks at Marina Bay on New Year’s Eve.
Let’s dive in deeper and see what the Lion City holds for us in the last month of the year.
Do you want to travel during a different month? Check out our guide to the best time to visit Singapore.
Introduction To Singapore In December
If there’s one word to describe Singapore in December, it’s ‘mesmerizing.’ As the year approaches, the Lion City transforms into a wonderland of festive lights, merry celebrations, and year-end sales, making it an excellent time for exploring and reflecting.
While the rest of the world shivers in the cold of winter, Singapore, with its tropical climate, remains warm and inviting. Even during the rainy season, Singapore’s allure is not diminished but enhanced.
Whether you’re a shopaholic, a foodie, or a culture enthusiast, December in Singapore caters to all.
Weather And Climate In December
Despite being in the middle of the Northeast Monsoon, Singapore’s tropical climate continues to be warm in December. Expect daily temperatures between 23-30°C, with frequent rain showers, particularly afternoons and evenings.
The rain, however, lends a refreshing touch to the city’s atmosphere and cools down the evening for pleasant strolls.
Packing Essentials In December
When packing for Singapore in December, consider the tropical climate and frequent rain showers due to the monsoon season.
Here’s a list of essentials to bring:
- Lightweight clothing: Bring comfortable, breathable clothing as the weather is typically warm, with temperatures averaging between 23-30°C.
- Rain gear: An umbrella or a light raincoat is essential for the sudden rain showers common during the monsoon season.
- Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes that are water-resistant or quick-drying are beneficial in the event of rain.
- Sun protection: Despite the frequent rains, the sun can still be strong. Pack good quality sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat for sun protection.
- Light Sweater or Shawl: Indoor areas such as shopping malls and restaurants often have high-powered air conditioning, so it’s useful to have a light sweater or shawl to keep warm indoors.
Festivals and Events in December
There are a lot of happenings and events in Singapore for this month.
|Festival / Event
|Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up
|November – January
|World Architecture Festival
|November 29 – December 1, 2023
|Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF)
|November 30 – December 10, 2023
|Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
|December 1 – 3, 2023
|December 2-3, 2023
|Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay
|Winter Solstice Festival
|December 22, 2023
|Marina Bay Singapore Countdown
Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up
Orchard Road, Singapore’s famous shopping street, becomes a magical Christmas wonderland. Spectacular festive lights and decorations stretch almost 3 kilometres, creating an extraordinary backdrop for holiday shopping. Themed decorations, interactive displays, pop-up stores, and street performances add to the Yuletide spirit, making it an unmissable event.
World Architecture Festival
The World Architecture Festival is a global gathering of architects and design professionals showcasing some of the most innovative architectural projects from around the world. The festival often includes a substantial line-up of acclaimed international speakers and jurors.
Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF)
The SGIFF is the longest-running film festival in Singapore, bringing together the global film community for over two weeks of screenings, discussions, and networking. The festival showcases a diverse range of films worldwide, from independent to commercial releases.
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon is a major event in the Singapore sporting calendar, attracting participants from around the world. This internationally recognized race offers different categories to accommodate all levels of runners. The race route typically offers runners breathtaking views of Singapore’s iconic landmarks.
One of Asia’s biggest music festivals, ZoukOut, takes place on the beaches of Sentosa. This dusk till dawn event brings together top-notch international DJs playing the best of electronic dance music. It’s an immersive experience that combines music, art, and food into one exciting, non-stop party.
Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay
A highlight of the festive season in Singapore, Christmas Wonderland transforms Gardens by the Bay into a magical landscape. The event features stunning luminaire light sculptures, a European-style festive market, carnival games and rides, and a range of performances. It offers an enchanting experience for all ages and a unique way to celebrate the holiday season.
Winter Solstice Festival
The Winter Solstice Festival, also known as Dongzhi Festival, is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated in Singapore.
This festival signifies the arrival of winter and is an occasion for families to come together. This festival is celebrated in Singapore by making and eating tangyuan, or glutinous rice balls. Tangyuan is usually served in a sweet soup and comes in different colours.
Christmas is a public holiday in Singapore, and the city celebrates it with gusto. Malls and streets, especially Orchard Road, are adorned with festive lights and decorations. Churches hold midnight mass services, and many restaurants and hotels offer special Christmas menus. It’s a time of joy and celebration across the city-state.
Marina Bay Singapore Countdown
As Singapore’s official year-end celebration, the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown is a grand spectacle. The event culminates in a massive fireworks display at Marina Bay, marking the arrival of the New Year. Leading up to the countdown, numerous events and activities occur around the bay, including carnivals, concerts, and light shows, creating a festive atmosphere throughout the month.
Tourist Attractions and Activities
Top Tourist Attractions
1. Gardens By The Bay in December is a sight to behold. The annual Christmas Wonderland event transforms the gardens into a spectacle with grand luminaire light sculptures, a festive market, carnival games, and even a skating rink. Experiencing the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome conservatories in a cooler December climate also makes for a pleasant visit.
2. Universal Studios Singapore is a fantastic place to visit in December as they usually have special Christmas events, adding to the park’s usual attractions. From exciting festive performances and special meet-and-greets with beloved characters in their Christmas costumes to enchanting holiday decorations around the park, the joyous spirit of the season is everywhere.
3. Clarke Quay: Known for its vibrant nightlife, Clarke Quay becomes even more lively in December with special festive events. The scenic riverside location’s historical charm makes outdoor dining and entertainment enjoyable, especially during cooler December evenings. Christmas-themed parties and events at the clubs and bars add an extra dash of excitement.
4. Little India offers a unique cultural experience in December. During Christmas, the streets of Little India are filled with colourful decorations, and the area buzzes with a unique blend of Christmas and Indian culture. With cooler weather in December, exploring the area becomes more comfortable and enjoyable.
Unique Places To Visit In December
1. Chijmes: The beautifully restored historical complex of Chijmes turns into a magical place in December. The chapel and surrounding buildings, adorned with festive lights and decorations, make for a stunning sight, and the array of dining options caters to all tastes. Seasonal events, music performances, and a beautiful festive atmosphere make Chijmes a must-visit location in Singapore during December.
2. Holland Village is popular with locals and expatriates and comes alive with a festive buzz in December. The area is known for its eclectic blend of restaurants, cafes, and shops. During December, these establishments often offer special festive menus and promotions.
3. Dempsey Hill, with its historic buildings set amongst lush greenery, offers a unique, tranquil spot perfect for December’s festive season. The old army barracks and warehouses have been transformed into a lifestyle and dining destination. During December, the area often hosts seasonal markets and events.
Outdoor Activities Suitable For December
1. Outdoor Festivals and Events: December in Singapore is a festive month with events and celebrations. The festive cheer is palpable as these events often involve live music, art installations, festive markets, and a range of food and drink options. The slightly cooler weather in December makes attending these outdoor events a lot more pleasant, allowing you to fully immerse in the celebrations and experience the vibrant cultural life of Singapore.
2. Walking: Walking around Singapore in December is more enjoyable due to the relatively cooler temperatures and lower humidity. It’s an excellent way to discover the city’s rich architectural heritage, beautifully decorated streets, and festive installations that adorn the city. You could take a leisurely stroll along the iconic Orchard Road or wander through ethnic enclaves like Chinatown and Little India.
3. Picnicking: December in Singapore offers ideal weather for picnicking. The city-state has a plethora of beautiful parks and gardens. It’s a perfect time to sit back, relax, and enjoy Singapore’s natural beauty under a sky that’s often clear and blue.
Food In December
In December, you can enjoy festive treats in Singapore. You can find them in Hawker Centres, Restaurants, or Shops.
Here are the dishes we recommend:
1. Log Cake: A Christmas favourite in Singapore, log cakes are often made from chocolate sponge cake rolled with cream, resembling a log. It’s often decorated with powdered sugar, resembling snow, for a festive touch.
2. Laksa: A spicy noodle soup dish perfect for the cooler December evenings. It’s a warming, comforting dish that combines Chinese and Malay culinary influences.
3. Barbecued Stingray: A popular local seafood dish, the stingray is slathered with a spicy sambal sauce and then wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled. It’s a warm, flavorful dish that pairs well with the outdoor barbecue atmosphere of December.
4. Tangyuan: These are glutinous rice balls, typically filled with sweet sesame or peanut paste. They are often eaten during the Winter Solstice festival, which usually occurs in December.
5. Singapore Sling: This iconic cocktail made of gin, cherry brandy, and fresh pineapple juice is a must-try and can be particularly enjoyed during the festive season in December.
Shopping In December
Shopping in Singapore in December is nothing short of a magical experience. With the festive season in full swing, many malls and shopping districts are beautifully adorned with Christmas decorations, transforming the city into a festive wonderland.
Shopping hours are often extended, and numerous sales, promotions, and festive markets pop up around the city, making it a shopper’s paradise.
1. Orchard Road: Undoubtedly the heart of shopping in Singapore, Orchard Road in December is a sight. The entire stretch is lit up with dazzling Christmas lights and decorations, creating a festive atmosphere that’s hard to beat.
2. Tanglin Mall: Located slightly off the main Orchard Road stretch, Tanglin Mall is known for its family-friendly atmosphere. In December, the mall hosts one of Singapore’s most memorable Christmas events, with snowfall shows and beautifully decorated Christmas displays. Various stores offer everything, making it a great place for Christmas gift shopping.
3. VivoCity: As Singapore’s largest retail and lifestyle destination, VivoCity offers an extensive selection of brands across all categories. In December, the mall gets a festive makeover, with Christmas sales and exclusive deals that attract throngs of shoppers. Its proximity to Sentosa Island also allows for a combined day of shopping and leisure.
Final Thoughts On Singapore In December
Singapore in December is a unique mix of cultures, flavours, and celebrations that will leave you with lasting memories of its festive atmosphere, food scene, and thrilling experiences.
Come and immerse yourself in the wonders of this multicultural city-state as it wraps up the year in its own beautiful, vibrant style.